(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Italy and the United States, conducting excavations on the island of Es Sinnia in the emirate of Umm el Qaiwain, have found traces of an early medieval Christian monastery.
The complex of monastic buildings included a church, a refectory, cistern reservoirs and cells for monks.
According to the results of radiocarbon analysis of the preserved fragments of ceramics, the Christian community lived on the island from the end of the 6th century until the middle of the 8th century and witnessed the rise and spread of Islam in the region.
“This is an extremely rare find and an important reminder of a forgotten chapter in Arab history,” said Tim Power, a professor at the UAE University in Al Ain, who participated in the excavation.
The complex on the island of Es Sinnia is the second monastery discovered in the UAE. In 1992, traces of a Nestorian monastic community were found on the island of Sir Bani Yas (Emirate of Abu Dhabi).
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